At the end of the folding of the magnetic field lines, it appears as though two loops are stacked above one another to increase the total magnetic flux. But are these two loops themselves connected at any point and/or is there a reconnection event involved in this phenomenon?

  • $\begingroup$ Are you talking about results from an MHD, hybrid, or PIC simulation? Or is this a cartoon model of which you saw a picture? $\endgroup$ – honeste_vivere Aug 30 '18 at 14:21
  • $\begingroup$ This is simply a visualization found in a textbook. No simulation involved to my knowledge, but they are discussing it in the context of an MHD dynamo, if I'm not mistaken. $\endgroup$ – Mathews24 Aug 30 '18 at 21:33
  • $\begingroup$ I asked because the visualization may be only meant for a phenomenological picture, not necessarily a physically consistent depiction (seems contradictory, but this is often used in textbooks). So when you say things like "loops" and "field lines" you need to be careful and specific because some books will treat both as "flux tubes" while others will treat them as completely different phenomena. $\endgroup$ – honeste_vivere Sep 1 '18 at 17:25
  • $\begingroup$ That is fair—here is the visualization I saw. $\endgroup$ – Mathews24 Sep 2 '18 at 2:27
  • $\begingroup$ Ugh that is super cartoony... Technically dynamo theory does not require reconnection but it certainly can accommodate it and most modern versions definitely incorporate it. I am not sure what process that is supposed to depict, but as a note, two flux tubes can merge without there necessarily being reconnection. $\endgroup$ – honeste_vivere Sep 2 '18 at 12:49

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